Before I was a writer, I was a reader. From as early as I can remember, I always had a book in my hand. My parents used to have to tell me not to bring the book to the supper table because it was rude. I would spend hours lounging on my bed, book in hand, my nose burrowed deep into the pages. In my elementary years, it was Nancy Drew and the Wizard of Oz books. In middle school, I started picking up more adult fiction like Rosalind Laker and Patricia Veryan. And of course, high school I started reading lots of historical fiction.
If I had only one book left to read, I went into panic mode and had to beg my mom to take me to the library. I couldn't stand being left for the weekend or even one night without a book by my side. I love books so much that I have worked at one library and three bookstores in my lifetime. Moving is a major hassle because I have boxes and boxes of books. And since my husband loves books, that's only added to the load!
Sometimes I'll buy a book and won't read it for years. It will sit on my shelf, waiting for the appropriate time for me to pick it up and delve into its world. Sometimes I will buy a nonfiction book thinking that I can use it at some point in my research, even though it has nothing to do with the current topic I'm working on. I have several that I have already used, and I know that there are others that I will need in the future.
Then there's the library. I can go there and get lost in the all the stacks. My arms are usually overflowing with them and it's a precarious walk between the library and my car. If I see a book that captures my interest, I don't want to wait until the next trip to read it - I want it now! Unfortunately, checking out this many books also leads to big fines if I don't make it back to the library in time!
Which leads to my next point. There are some books that I have been checking out of the library again and again, to the point where I can justify buying it. And besides, there's something so darn nice about having it right there on my shelf to pick up whenever I want.
Someday, in our next house, I will have a library. It will have wall to wall bookcases made of cherry wood or oak or maple. There will be plush carpet underneath my feet, a fireplace, and a comfortable couch and chairs to snuggle in. This will be my refuge. And when I look at the walls lined with books, with all their stories and characters and information, I will smile in utter contentment.
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